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China, Russia embrace new opportunities to deepen economic ties

Xinhua | Updated: 2016-11-10 16:27

BEIJING - High-quality Sunflower oil, wheat flour and organic jam from Russia are no longer the rare, exotic food stuffs they once were. They are now common pantry items in the homes of many Chinese thanks to the significant improvement of economic and trade ties between China and Russia.

China is now Russia's biggest trading partner and an important source of foreign investment, while Russia is one of China's main import sources of energy, electromechanical products and high technology.

In the first half of this year, bilateral trade between China and Russia rose 1.8 percent year on year to $31.72 billion, official data showed.

During Premier Li Keqiang's official visit to Russia, from Sunday to Tuesday, Li said that China and Russia should capitalize on their complementary advantages, and help promote each other's development, revitalization, and economic transformation.

Regarding trade and investment, Li said the two sides should continue to promote healthy and sustainable development of bilateral economic and trade ties and two-way investment.

Luz Yanin, head of the Institute of the Far East of Russia's Academy of Sciences, said that besides traditional cooperation areas like oil and natural gas, new areas, such as e-commerce, are emerging that will continue to boost bilateral cooperation.

In the first quarter of 2016, Russian cross-border e-commerce totalled about $1.1 billion with nearly half through Chinese e-commerce platforms. On average, 300,000 parcels were sent daily from China to Russia.

Infrastructure investment is also a highlight of bilateral cooperation, which will further stimulate trade and economic exchanges between China and Russia, said Jia.

Chen Yu, researcher with China Institute of Contemporary International Relations, said that one of the opportunities for both nations to deepen their joint work is the development of Russia's Far East, a vast region with abundant resources.

China is willing to work with Russia to synergize the Belt and Road initiative and the Eurasian Economic Union (EEU).

Li Hui, Chinese ambassador to Russia, told Xinhua that the integration would unlock the potential of economic complementarity between China and Russia, and contribute to the economic recovery of the EEU member states as well as benefiting countries along the ancient Silk Road and across Eurasia.

Premier Li's visit to Russia showed that the China-Russia relationship is at its best in history, said Chen.

Bilateral ties will continue to maintain high level as long as the two sides adopt a pragmatic, cooperative approach with mutual benefits, he said.

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